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Lemon Ginger-ini Cocktail

Lemon Ginger-ini Cocktail

A delicious, refreshing little martini. Equally lovely made with vodka or gin!MORE+LESS-

1/2

oz ginger simple syrup (see below for recipe link)

Large crystal sugar for rim of glass if desired

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    Recipe Link for Ginger Simple Syrup: ginger simple syrup recipe

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    If sugaring martini glass, dip rim in water. Shake off excess and dip in large crystal sugar.

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    Pour vodka or gin, lemon juice, and ginger simple syrup into an ice filled mixing glass. Stir well.

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    Strain into martini glass.

No nutrition information available for this recipe


Lemon Drop

The Lemon Drop first squeezed to life in San Francisco sometime during the 1970s. Its inventor, Norman Jay Hobday, an out-of-work Vietnam vet turned saloon owner, is also credited with opening the country’s first fern bar, a concept that mixed house plants and Tiffany lamps with throngs of upwardly mobile urbanites.

Both were an instant hit. And for two-plus decades, the Lemon Drop dominated cocktail menus from North Beach to Bangkok, hooking a generation of bar patrons on its boozy-tart-sweet mélange of vodka, citrus and sugar. In 2006, Oprah famously served one to Rachael Ray on her show, which is like the ultimate nod of widespread acceptance and further solidified the drink’s place in popular culture.

Some mislabel the Lemon Drop as a Martini. But its closest cocktail kin is actually the Crusta, a New Orleans invention that dates to the 1850s and, like the Lemon Drop, is distinguished by its sugared rim. It may be tempting to save time by skipping this important step, but take the extra minute to coat the rim with sugar. It’s worth the effort, and that first saccharine brush against the lips before the onrush of vodka, lemon and orange fills your mouth is the drink’s calling card.

While the Lemon Drop is usually served in a cocktail glass, it can also be poured as a shot—a common occurrence at college bars and night clubs. However you choose to serve it, the best results are produced by using fresh lemon juice and simple syrup. Bottled sweet and sour can get the job done if it’s your only option, and that is often the case at bars. But the fresh lemon with the sugar is what gives the cocktail its signature flavor. Besides, if you’re going to indulge, you might as well enjoy the best version of the drink. Not only will it taste better, but fresh ingredients are also less likely to cause ill-effects the next morning.

Given the drink’s sweet lemony character, it’s ripe for experimentation. Some bars, and home bartenders, modify Lemon Drops with citrus- or berry-flavored vodkas, while others muddle fresh fruit into the cocktail. But before you start riffing, try the classic. It has lasted this long for a reason and deserves to be sipped in its original form.


5 Lemon Cocktails to Make When Life Takes Your Limes

Due to the ongoing lime shortage, several airlines are no longer offering fresh limes with in-flight drinks. Instead of paying an exorbitant amount for limes, here are 5 great cocktails to make with lemons.

Due to the ongoing lime shortage, several airlines are no longer offering fresh limes with in-flight drinks. Instead of paying an exorbitant amount for limes, here are 5 great cocktails to make with lemons.

1. Lemon & Basil Martini
Limoncello and lemon juice give this fantastic drink a double-citrus punch.

2. Strawberry-Lemon Mojitos
Fresh lemon juice balances the sweetness of strawberries in this delicious, fruity mojito.

3. Lemon Drop
This sweet-tart cocktail is garnished with sour Lemonhead candies.

4. Blind Lemon Jefferson
This terrific cocktail features rye whiskey, angostura bitters and muddled lemon.

5. Lemon Zest
Mixologist Brian Van Flandern blends Palo cortado sherry with gin and Cognac in this spin on a Collins.


Icy Lemon-Ginger Vodka Cocktails

In a small saucepan, combine the sliced ginger with the water and sugar and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, then let the ginger syrup cool slightly. Transfer to a blender and puree. Strain the syrup into a large, shallow glass dish. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Cover and freeze the lemon-ginger syrup until firm, at least 4 hours.

Let the frozen lemon-ginger mixture stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Chop the mixture into large pieces. Put half of the pieces in a blender, add 4 cups of crushed ice and 1 cup of vodka and blend until slushy. Pour the vodka cocktail into 4 glasses, garnish each with a mint sprig and serve. Repeat with the remaining frozen lemon mixture, ice, vodka and mint sprigs. Serve at once.


Tonight’s prescription: Penicillin. (Yup, as in the cocktail.)

The Penicillin is a modern classic that was created by bartender Sam Ross. He makes his with single-malt and blended Scotches in this stay-home spin, I’m calling for whatever whiskey you have. While making a syrup may seem fussy, it takes only minutes. Once you’ve got ginger-honey syrup in the fridge, you can make the nonalcoholic variations below for a dose of feel-good in any form, at any time.

Bars are closed during coronavirus restrictions, but you can make cocktails at home using basic kitchen gear to mix drinks. Read on for our tips.


The key to the best lemon drop martini is balancing sour and sweet. This is one of our absolute favorite cocktails to make at home. Read on below to see our tips for making it.

There are four things to keep in mind when making lemon drop martinis at home.

Use Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice. The juice from a bottle just won’t cut it here. For one cocktail, you will need 1 ounce of lemon juice or the juice from half a large lemon.

Use quality vodka. Since this is a martini, there’s quite a bit of vodka called for. You don’t need to go straight to the top shelf, but choose a vodka that’s smooth. A few of our favorites are Kettle One, Stolichnaya (Stoli), and Tito’s.

Everything should be really cold. A lukewarm martini is no fun, so be sure to shake the heck out of it — if you want to go the extra mile, chill the martini glasses, too.

Add a lemon sugar rim. You’ve probably noticed rim sugar sold at the store. They are a great idea, but honestly, much easier to make at home yourself. To make our lemon drops extra special, we add a simple lemon sugar rim to our glasses. You could certainly stick with plain sugar, but since you’ve already bought the lemons for the fresh lemon juice, you might as well whip up this zesty sugar, right? To make it, rub the zest of one lemon into granulated sugar. Easy!

One more thing — you’ll need simple syrup for this. You can buy simple syrup at the store for convenience, but it’s really easy to make at home.

Here’s our step-by-step instructions for how to make simple sugar. We made it in our recipe video, too — it only takes a few minutes.

Recipe updated, originally posted July 2010. Since posting this in 2010, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne